Cafe Scientifique is a place where the public can explore the latest ideas in science and technology with the scientists, while enjoying a cup of coffee or a glass of wine freely. This kind of informal discussion is often taken place in cafes, bars, but always outside a traditional serious academic context. Its aim is to promote public engagement with science and to make science accountable, not to be a shop window for science. It is based on the Café Philosophique movement which was started in France in 1992 by the philosopher Marc Sautet who wanted a place where ordinary people could discuss topics in philosophy. Duncan Dallas of the UK adapted the model to science communication -leading to the development of the Café Scientifique movement, which so far has been popular and welcomed in the west. Now the movement has been introduced by the UK to China. From 2003 up to now, the British Council has organized lots of Café Scientifique activities in the city of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqin, with the topics of global issues such as Zero Carbon City, Clone, GMO, global warming, etc. Since it came to China, it has been deeply loved by the Chinese public; more and more people participate in the Cafe Scientifique. In a relaxing and comfortable atmosphere, the public is involved in the discussion with the scientists and feel the charm of the science; for the first time, they develop a great interest in science. This paper will analyze how a mature model of science communication from west is introduced, and developed in a developing country, with the emphasis on its communication process and effects, which can fully show a successful model of science communication can be expanded trans-culturally and shared in diverse culture.

">
 [PCST]
PCST Network

Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Café scientifique
A successful model of science communication from west to China

Yan-Wei Shang   Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

Ou-Yang Jing   Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

Cafe Scientifique is a place where the public can explore the latest ideas in science and technology with the scientists, while enjoying a cup of coffee or a glass of wine freely. This kind of informal discussion is often taken place in cafes, bars, but always outside a traditional serious academic context. Its aim is to promote public engagement with science and to make science accountable, not to be a shop window for science. It is based on the Café Philosophique movement which was started in France in 1992 by the philosopher Marc Sautet who wanted a place where ordinary people could discuss topics in philosophy. Duncan Dallas of the UK adapted the model to science communication -leading to the development of the Café Scientifique movement, which so far has been popular and welcomed in the west. Now the movement has been introduced by the UK to China. From 2003 up to now, the British Council has organized lots of Café Scientifique activities in the city of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chengdu, Chongqin, with the topics of global issues such as Zero Carbon City, Clone, GMO, global warming, etc. Since it came to China, it has been deeply loved by the Chinese public; more and more people participate in the Cafe Scientifique. In a relaxing and comfortable atmosphere, the public is involved in the discussion with the scientists and feel the charm of the science; for the first time, they develop a great interest in science. This paper will analyze how a mature model of science communication from west is introduced, and developed in a developing country, with the emphasis on its communication process and effects, which can fully show a successful model of science communication can be expanded trans-culturally and shared in diverse culture.

[PDF 91.26 kB]Download the full paper (PDF 91.26 kB)

BACK TO TOP